Former P&J reporter Fran Marshall describes waking up to the news of the attack that left the city she now calls home “shaken”.
Having lived in Manchester for a number of years I have come to love the city, but waking up yesterday morning to the news of an attack in the place that I call home was a feeling of disbelief.
Knowing I had friends at the Ariana Grande concert on Monday night, my heart sank.
Thankfully I now know they were all okay, but not everyone was so lucky.
Living in the centre of Aberdeen for a year working at the P&J, I always felt safe. For me Aberdeen felt like home because the people share much in common with Mancunians.
Despite their difference in size, there is a strong sense of community in both cities; and both have citizens who are friendly, welcoming and warm.
But yesterday it was clear that Manchester, a power house in the north-west of England, was shaken.
Making my way into work on Tuesday morning the train was noticeably quiet and the mood was sombre. The feeling of shock was strong in everyone’s mind, that I have no doubt about, but there was also a feeling of fear.
The police presence at train stations, shopping centres and on the streets was evident and it is perhaps the first time I have felt nervous to be in Manchester.
I attended the arena two years ago with friends, and it was a night out like any other; but today my thoughts are with those who never made it home from what should have been a night filled with laughter and fun.
Looking to the future, people may be scared and I am certainly shaken, but Manchester will not be broken and the city will remain strong in the face of fear.
The brave acts of citizens helping those in need, offering shelter for the night, lifts home, food and water – that is what I will take away from this attack and that is what will be remembered by the people of Greater Manchester.